For many of us, buying overseas can be very intimidating. We don’t speak the language and we don’t use the same currency. We would like to use Paypal, yet our overseas seller doesn’t accept Paypal. Yet when there is a manufacturer or tannery that has products we really want, we have to figure out how to make it work.
Up until recently, buying from an overseas vendor who won’t accept Paypal meant going to the bank and wiring funds. The vendors usually provided their banking details including their IBAN number right on the pro-forma invoice. We’d go to our local bank, sit in the branch manager’s chair, provide him or her with all the details and wait patiently while he/she typed out the transfer, and entered it into their system. About $50 dollars later, our funds would arrive in our vendor’s bank account.
Fast forward to today and there is a much easier process. Enter Transferwise. This UK-based company is really shaking up inter-country fund transfers, providing a quick, affordable, and transparent way to send funds to your supplier. You can access Transferwise on your desktop, iPad or mobile app.
Once you have entered in your banking information and have validated your account, you’re ready to send funds. Simply enter in the currency you want to send, the currency the vendor is expecting to receive, the amount the vendor needs to receive, and the vendor’s banking information. Transferwise will tell you the currency exchange rates (usually much better than your bank), the time it will take for your vendor to receive the funds and the fees Transferwise will charge (often a fraction of your bank’s fee schedule).
That’s it! You can take a screen shot of your transaction and send it to your vendor so they know to when expect the funds and save it for your records. Transferwise will update you every step of the way. While not an instantaneous wire, in just a few days, your vendor will have their funds.
You can also save your recipient’s details so sending the next time is even easier. So along with edge finishing and stitching, put Transferwise in your bag of tricks!